Werther loves Charlotte, but she has sworn to marry Albert. It remains to be seen until the end whether she does not love Werther after all. Werther plunges into this (ostensibly) one-sided amour fou to the point of self-destruction, while he tries to convince Charlotte that she is clinging to a life lie. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe “healed” himself with his epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Wertherof the love for the already engaged Charlotte Buff and gave an entire epoch an idol of passion that goes as far as suicide. Jules Massenet went one better in his opera from 1892 with cross-border emotional emphasis. In the 21st century, Werther's dilemma doesn't sound like an insoluble problem. Nevertheless, this work, with its merciless affects, is still a stress test for the relationship between the individual and the ordered masses.

Act I

Description: Werther wants to pick up Charlotte, the eldest daughter of the bailiff, for the ball. He falls in love with her. Charlotte's fiancé Albert surprisingly returns from a trip and has Charlotte's sister Sophie promise to keep his return a secret. Charlotte is more and more affected by Werther's love. Only the voice of the bailiff reminds them of their engagement. Werther lets Charlotte go.

Act II

Description: Albert describes the happiness of her three marriage months to Charlotte. Werther cannot bear that he is not her husband. Albert tells him to stay away from Charlotte. Werther is not impressed by this. Albert praises Sophie as a good, because free, alternative to his wife. Werther is not impressed by that either. He and Charlotte meet and she too asks him to get the idea of ​​love out of his head. None of this impresses Werther. Only when Charlotte sends him away until Christmas does he understand and think about suicide.


Description: It's Christmas Eve and Charlotte is alone. Werther continues to control her thoughts. She reads his letters over and over again. He writes of loneliness and sadness. The last letter is a threat: If she doesn't see him again at Christmas, she'll have to cry for him - or live in fear of his return. Sophie tries in vain to create a cheerful mood. But Charlotte wants to live this sadness. Werther appears out of nowhere. He presses Charlotte with memories of the past. Although she rejects him, things escalate. Charlotte finally flees from Werther. For him, that's the death sentence.

Act IV

Description: Werther shot himself. Charlotte finds him still half alive. Only now does she confess her love to him. In the distance you can hear children singing happy Christmas carols. Werther dies. That means the end for Charlotte too.